The Hornbill Festival 2014 got off to a colorful start at Naga Heritage Complex, Kisama on 1st December 2014 where the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi expressed his happiness to be amongst the friendly Nagas on this
joyous festival. He also congratulated the Nagas for attaining 51st Anniversary of Statehood which coincides with the Hornbill Festival.
He urged the Nagas to introspect the past 50 years and focus on what remains to be accomplished. He said “Hornbill Festival does not mean only songs and dances but it connotes simplicity and honesty of the Nagas”. Nagaland is known for rich biodiversity so people from outside would come for investment and tourism as such it should be protected, he said. He expressed his admiration to the Nagas for maintaining gender
equality in the society. He also urged the young Nagas to explore and excel in IT outsourcing and encouraged them to take keen interest in sports such as boxing, taekwondo and archery.
He described the North East States as a Natural Economic Zone (NEZs) instead of Special
Economic Zone (SEZs) which could become the capital of the Organic Agriculture Production. However, the resources in the region are untapped, he added. The Prime Minister also highlighted some of the innovative programmes initiated by the central government for the welfare and interest of the North Eastern States like grant of
scholarship to 10000 NE students, Rs. 28000 crores for 14 new railway lines, Rs. 5000 crores for comprehensive telecom development plan and another Rs. 5000 crore on the energy sector.
The Chief Host, Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya while speaking on the occasion lauded the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for his concern shown to Nagas through his maiden visit to Nagaland. He quoted visionary Prime Minister Modi’s tweet that ‘India would not develop until North-East develops’.
The Governor said that Hornbill Festival in Nagaland was not just a cultural showcase but it also brings the people together. He mentioned that the progress of Nagaland can be seen through the Nagas working all over the world and also through the Naga women Indian Reserve Battalion numbering to a thousand. He however added that the Naga people should work harder for socio-economic development.
Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang in his speech said that the benign presence of the Prime Minister has indeed added greater importance and stature to this special day. During his address he assured the Prime Minister that the government and the people of Nagaland will stand by him as he sets goals for the country’s future and as he ably steer the
country to its rightful place in the comity of nations. Zeliang also stated that India’s prestige has never before soared so high in the international arena and have the people of India placed so much trust and confidence on a Prime Minister. He further assured that Nagaland, no matter how significant in size, is committed to support and follow
the agenda of good governance and become an asset rather than a
liability to the nation.
Zeliang also stated that even after 50 years of statehood, the true potential of the state have yet to be fully harnessed and the advantages that the state has, such as the rich cultural heritage, its natural beauty and abundant natural resources and its strategic location are yet to be truly exploited to the state’s advantage. He therefore, asked the active handholding from the Government of India towards its many need in different areas. Zeliang in his address appealed to the Government of India to expedite towards arriving at an early resolution to the six decade old Naga political issue which has become the uppermost agenda of not only the State government but also the mass based organization, NGOs, civil societies, business organization along with the rest of the people of the state. Highlights of the inaugural programme included traditional blessing by Chief Angh of Mon Village, Wangyeih Konyak, cultural performance by various cultural troupes and presentation of melodious songs.